Porsche unleashes the next-generation 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder After months of speculations, Porsche has released information about the next-generation 918 Spyder; the successor to the previous Spyder. Built from Porsche’s motorsports heritage, the Porsche 918 Spyder with hybrid drive is conceptualized from some of the latest Porsche Le Mans 24-hour race cars.

The Porsche 918 Spyder features a rolling chassis and the concept of the V8 engine which originated from the LMP2 RS Spyder race car. The prototype’s load-bearing structures, monocoque and subframe are made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer; an absolute high-strength, lightweight construction material. The car’s unladen weight is approximately 1,640 kg when fitted with the “Weissach” package, which differentiates 918 Spyder’s roof, rear wings, rear-view mirrors and frames of the windscreen. From the rear, the unique ‘tailpipes’ stops at the upper part and above the powerplant.

Porsche 918 Spyder prototype interior

Parts of the interior are upholstered with Alcantara instead of leather, and visible carbon replaces much of the aluminium. Sound insulation has been reduced. The emphasis on performance is not just visual: very lightweight magnesium wheels reduce unsprung masses; gross weight was reduced by about 35 kg. Other references from motorsport are six-point seatbelts for driver and front passenger, optional film-coating instead of body paint, as well as additional aerodynamic body parts in visible carbon. The driver cockpit is divided into two areas: controls around the steering, combined with driver information displayed on three large round instruments, and the infotainment unit housed on the ‘slanting’ center console.

The 4.6-liter V8 powerplant, mated to a seven-speed Doppelkupplung (PDK) gearbox, powers the Porsche 918 Spyder to an amazing 612 hp at up to 9,150 rpm. A myriad of lightweight components and design measures cut the car’s engine weight even further for those extra power output. The Super Sports is said to achieve a power output per liter of approx. 132 hp/l – the highest power output per liter of a Porsche naturally aspirated engine. Efficiency-wise, the previously tested 918 Spyder prototype with over 880 hp recorded an NEDC fuel consumption of about three liters per 100 km; that’s better than today’s road cars, even the most efficient performance and super cars.

The drivetrain components and all components weighing over 50 kg are located as low and as centrally as possible within the Super Sports. This results in a slightly rear end biased axle load distribution of 57 per cent on the rear axle and 43 per cent on the front axle, combined with an very low center of gravity at approximately the height of the wheel hubs.

The V8 engine is coupled to the hybrid module, since the 918 Spyder is designed as a parallel hybrid like the current Porsche hybrid variants. Essentially, the hybrid module comprises a 115 kW electric motor and a decoupler that serves as the connection with the combustion engine.

As is typical for a Porsche super sports car, the power pack in the 918 Spyder has been placed in front of the rear axle, and does not have any direct mechanical connection to the front axle. Further, a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, comprising 312 individual cells with an energy content of about 7-kw  hours, provides sufficient performance requirements. The Porsche Speed Charging Station (DC) is available as an optional extra and can fully charge the high-voltage battery of the 918 Spyder in just 25 minutes.

Dynamic and responsive driving modes are available in the Porsche 918 Spyder, thanks to the Porsche Active Aerodynamic (PAA). Drivers can choose between “E-Power”, “Hybrid”, “Sport Hybrid” and “Race Hybrid” and “Hot Lap” modes.

Finally, the multi-link chassis of the Porsche 918 Spyder is inspired by motorsport design, complemented by additional systems such as the PASM adaptive shock-absorber system and rear-axle steering. Basically, this incorporates an electro-mechanical adjustment system at each rear wheel.

With the electro-mechanical adjustment system, the driver gets more direct, faster and precise cornering as well as a smaller turn radius at low speeds; and stability at higher speeds.

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